1 out of 3 Four Year Olds Know the Path to Wealth, Do You?




Bright White. Soft and sugary. A fat powdery coated puff of marshmallow can be a tasty time machine that instantly transports you back to childhood… It also can tell you if you will end up wealthy or not.

In the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment (1972), conducted by Prof. Walter Mischel, at Stanford University, California, we find the research that proves my theory.

You may have heard of this challenge: A 4 year-old child is put in a room by themselves with one marshmallow sitting on the table in front of them. They are told that if they can wait alone with that marshmallow for 15 minutes and not eat it, they will get two marshmallows… hmmm, does that little “deal” sound familiar?
“Live like no one else, so later you get to live like no one else” – Dave Ramsey
In the experiment, 2 out of 3 kids ate the marshmallow before the time was up and therefore only got one. The other third of the children did wait it out and ended up getting twice as much; Two Marshmallows! They were naturally good at Delaying Gratification.
These children were followed until thier college years. There we saw that the ones who waited had a much higher success rate in school and other areas of their lives. They were reaping the rewards of patience.
I believe this has impact not only with kids and sweet treats… It also correlates with how we approach life, relationships, health and especially purchases.
Do you choose to buy something Now with a loan, 90 days same-as-cash or credit cards? Or do you choose to wait on a purchase and save the money up to buy something?
I know that this is a universal law, that when you wait and delay gratification, you get a more abundant result.
Believe me, I have been the Insta-Eater kind of kid for many years, and still have lots of work to do on this issue. I love this simple analogy. Now when I am making a decision on a purchase or whether or not to eat that fresh-baked cookie, I realize that waiting will bring a bigger reward.
Here is your take-away for the your own MarshMoney test: Of the kids who waited, some had tricks for making the agonizing 15 minutes go by easier… They looked around the room, they played with the chair or their shoes, they basically Didn’t Look At the Marshmallow!
So don’t torture yourself by sniffing, feeling and licking the thing. That only makes the waiting worse… While you are on your journey out of debt, or learning to save up for that new appliance, “Don’t Look at the Marshmallow!”
Stay away from the Mall or the Electronics Store, Stay out of the Resturant where you have to feel weird ordering the cheapest thing there. Keep the spending tempations away from your senses and it will make the process so much easier.
I promise you that being out of debt and having financial freedom is worth the wait!


Aaron Nichols
True North Financial Fitness Coaching

Got a leaky Wallet? Bulging budget or none at all? Dilapidated Debt that you’re sick of living with?  You are losing hard earned dollars every month! Let me show you how to spackle the cracks and firm up your financial foundation. DIY or using my professional services, either way, the best time to fix your finances is Now!

One thought on “1 out of 3 Four Year Olds Know the Path to Wealth, Do You?

  1. Aaron, I love the Marshmallow analogy! Learning to delay pleasure might be the greatest financial principal there is as it is one of those things that I think we all struggle with no matter how old we are.

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